Compare Small Business Loans

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Small business loans sometimes require collateral, but if you don’t have collateral to offer — especially if you’re a startup business — then you’ll want to consider unsecured loans. Because unsecured loans don’t require collateral and rely on your personal creditworthiness, interest rates are often higher, but they might make sense if you need funds fast.

What is an unsecured business loan?

An unsecured business loan allows you to get a loan without any collateral. It’s a tempting loan option, as you won’t need to put your business assets on the line to secure funding. However, the lender still needs to be comfortable that you’ll repay your loan. So instead of collateral, the lender may require you to have good personal credit, and your business to have a certain amount of monthly or yearly revenue and time in operation.

Lenders may require a personal guarantee, too — if your business is unable to repay its debt, you’d be personally responsible for that debt. Unsecured business loans can also come with higher interest rates to make up for additional lender risk.

Best unsecured loans for small purchases: OnDeck

Consider this if you need cash ranging from $5,000 to $250,000.

Good for

  • Borrowers who need to build their credit — OnDeck accepts FICO Scores as low as 600 and will report the loan to the credit bureaus
  • Businesses needing a loan of at least $5,000 and up to $250,000
  • Businesses with at least $100000 in yearly revenue and a business checking account

Bad for

  • Business owners wanting longer repayment terms than the two-year maximum
  • Businesses that have been in operation less than one year
  • Businesses located in Nevada, North Dakota or South Dakota — OnDeck won’t make loans in those states

Why we like it

If you need between $5,000 and $250,000, OnDeck is a good choice, especially if you’ve experienced credit challenges in the past. OnDeck requires a FICO Score of at least 600, and they report the loan to the credit bureaus, so steady repayment can be a means of raising your score in the future. Plus, the loan is very flexible and can be used for numerous business purposes.

Drawbacks

This loan isn’t suitable for startups, since you’ll need at least one year of operation and a minimum of $100000 in annual revenue. Plus, OnDeck doesn’t lend to certain sectors, including gaming (such as lotteries and casinos), firearms vendors, drug dispensaries and adult entertainment — so if your business is in one of the restricted sectors, you’ll need to look elsewhere.


Best unsecured loans for high-revenue businesses: Balboa Capital

Consider this if your business earns annual revenue of over $300000 and you want funds to make business purchases without putting up collateral.

Good for

  • Businesses with annual revenue of more than $300000
  • Businesses that need a wide range of loan sizes — amounts can vary between $5,000 and $250,000
  • Businesses that need a fast online approval process

Bad for

  • Businesses that need to borrow more than $250,000
  • Companies that earn less than $300000 per year in revenue
  • Businesses who’ve been operating less than one year

Why we like it

Balboa Capital is a good financing option for businesses that need to borrow up to $250,000 without collateral for a variety of funding purposes. The lender requires one year in business to qualify and, if you apply on a weekday, you’ll generally have a decision on your loan application that same day. Balboa will also consider applicants with lower credit scores.

Drawbacks

You might not be able to meet all of your loan needs with Balboa. Of all the lenders on this list, it requires one of the highest annual revenues to be eligible. Plus, while a $250,000 maximum could work with your business needs, if you think that you may need to borrow more, you’d have to find another lender.


Best unsecured loans for bad credit: Credibly

Consider this if your credit score is low and you need a loan of up to $$400,000 for working capital

Good for

  • Borrowers with credit scores starting at 500
  • Loan needs up to $400,000
  • Businesses in operation for more than six months

Bad for

  • Businesses with less than $15000 average in monthly bank deposits
  • Startups that are less than six months old

Why we like it

Credibly is a good loan option for business owners if you have bad personal credit. It offers multiple unsecured loan options, too, including working capital and merchant cash advances, so you can find the loan type that works best for your business needs. The process for getting your funds is fast — approval may happen within 24 hours and funding could be received on the same day.

Drawbacks

Your business needs to show at least $15000 in average monthly deposits to a bank account in order to be eligible for a loan. For working capital loans, you need to have been in business for at least six months.


Best unsecured line of credit: BlueVine

Consider this flexible form of funding if you can repay within 6 or 12 months

Good for

  • Companies in operation at least six months
  • Borrowers with a FICO Score of at least 600
  • Business who want access to cash with a reasonable interest rate and no collateral

Bad for

  • Businesses who need longer than a year to repay drawn funds
  • Companies with less than $10000 in monthly revenue
  • Borrowers with FICO Scores under 600

Why we like it

Although lines of credit are slightly different from term loans, BlueVine’s unsecured line of credit is a good choice for business owners needing fast funds, since money can be received the same day. It’s also an attractive option if you’re able to pay the funds back quickly, as terms run for 6 or 12 months. Rates start at 4.80%, which is quite reasonable. It’s also attractive if your credit score is fair to poor, since the minimum FICO Score required is 600 .

Drawbacks

If you’re a startup with less than six months operating history, BlueVine is off the table. Plus, you’ll need a minimum of $10000 in monthly revenue to qualify, so smaller businesses may not be able to access BlueVine. In addition, BlueVine has both geographical and industry restrictions: it won’t offer a line of credit to businesses operating in Nevada, North Dakota or South Dakota, or in industries like illegal gambling, firearms, controlled substances, financial institutions (such as insurance, cryptocurrency and penny auction firms), auto dealerships and more.

What to consider when selecting an unsecured loan

Comparing small business loans is often a difficult task. Several variables come into play: For example, one loan might offer a large loan amount, but also require significant monthly revenue. When you’re looking for business financing, take into consideration all of the different factors that will affect your decision, including:

Loan size

Estimating how much you need to borrow will help narrow down the ideal lender. Some lenders may offer higher limits than others and you don’t want to work with a lender that can’t meet your full lending needs. Spend time getting a good estimate of how much you need to borrow so you can narrow down your choices.

Minimum requirements

Understanding and meeting a lender’s specific minimum eligibility requirements before you apply is important. Most lenders will have minimum FICO Score requirements, minimum monthly revenue requirements and requirements for how long you’ve been in business. Knowing this information up front can save you time during the search process to find the right lender.

Speed of funding

How quickly do you need your money? While most lenders that offer unsecured business loans do have a fast financing process, you’ll want to make sure that the money is available as quickly as you need it to be.

Methodology: How we chose the top options

To make choosing the right unsecured business loan easier, we've looked at over 10 top industry leaders looking at the minimum credit score required, time in business requirements, maximum loan amounts, fees and interest rates. Our choices are not influenced by our advertisers.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.